A PLEA for information about a mystery wartime photograph has led to a remarkable reconciliation between former enemies.

It all started when the daughter of a member of an Australian bomber crew whose plane was shot down during the Second World War made inquiries about a photograph taken in York of her father and his comrades.

Now the daughter of the German fighter pilot who shot them down has offered to paint a recreation of that picture.

The Friends of York Walls were contacted out of the blue by Tiana Adair, who made a recent pilgrimage to York from Australia’s Gold Coast because her father and the rest of his crew often visited the city from their base at Driffield.

Their first pilot was killed on October 6, 1944, and they were given four days leave in York to bond with their second pilot.

While they were exploring the city this snap was taken on a cobbled street next to an arch in one of the city walls on October 10.

Their Halifax bomber was later shot down and crew members taken prisoner.

Mrs Adair searched York for the arch and showed the photo to passers-by, but could not work out where it was taken.

With all the crew members now dead she decided to email Alan Fleming and the Friends of York Walls, who revealed the crew were standing beneath Queen Margaret’s Arch, in Exhibition Square.

Mrs Adair replied to the Friends to say: “Thank you so much for your help regarding this.

“To know where the photo was taken is truly fabulous, and what a wonderful excuse to come back to my favourite city in the UK.

“I look forward to standing exactly where the shot was taken, at the same angle, and then superimposing the crew onto it.” But when the tale was added to the Friends’ website and put on Facebook a message arrived from the artist daughter of the German night fighter pilot who shot the crew down, Richard Launer.

Mrs Adair said: “She is going to paint the photo that we have of today, merged with 1944.

“Imagine that? A photo of the crew shot down by her father, painted by his daughter, and given back to the crew’s family, 70 years later.

“Once fierce enemies in the sky, and now great friends on the ground – war is crazy, isn’t it?”

She is now researching and writing a book on her father’s war experiences; he wrote the first draft over many years and left it to her when he died.